SinoNeptune’s iMac G4 Mod with reproduced screen and Android system

Discussion in 'iMac Mods' started by sinoneptune, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    Dec 24, 2015 at 7:45 PM #1
    sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    SinoNeptune’s iMac G4 Mod with reproduced screen and Android system

    Hello everyone, I’m an architect and MOD amateur from China. It’s really great pleasure to find this site which so many wonderful mod work of iMac G4. I study a lot here and also did one by my own. I’d like to share it with friends here, and hope you like it.


    First, please forgive my poor English. I will try my best to make it easy to understand. If any mistake in translation, I hope you can understand or ask me via email. If you can read Chinese, please see the Chinese version of this article in Chiphell.com:
    http://www.chiphell.com/thread-1442149-1-1.html


    I’d like to thanks following friends’ work, they give me a lot of inspiration. I can’t list all post I studied. Thanks to everyone’s mod works. Really all great works!
    Wingworm:
    A new iMac G4 Mod with up-to-date hardware and unchanged appearance including pro speakers


    MacTester57:
    MacTester57's HemiMac G4


    Ersterhernd:
    Ersterhernd's NUCiMac G4


    Nickjf20: iMac G4 15" [Nickjf20]
    (Although it’s not completed, but the Pro Speaker modify was great reference)



    --------iMac G4 MOD---------
    168772-imacg4-mod-00.jpg

    168773-imacg4-mod-01.jpg

    168774-imacg4-mod-02.jpg

    168775-imacg4-mod-03.jpg

    168776-imacg4-mod-04.jpg

    168777-imacg4-mod-05.jpg

    168778-imacg4-mod-07.jpg

    168779-imacg4-mod-08.jpg

    168780-imacg4-mod-09.jpg

    168781-imacg4-mod-10.jpg

    168782-imacg4-mod-11.jpg

    168783-imacg4-mod-12.jpg

    168784-imacg4-mod-13.jpg

    168785-imacg4-mod-14.jpg

    168786-imacg4-mod-15.jpg

    168792-imacg4-mod-21.jpg

    168793-imacg4-mod-22.jpg


    ------Sub-Monitor for G4-------

    168790-imacg4-mod-19.jpg

    168787-imacg4-mod-16.jpg

    168788-imacg4-mod-17.jpg

    168789-imacg4-mod-18.jpg

    168791-imacg4-mod-20.jpg



    1. Concept of my mod

    My first problem is how to get an iMac G4 with good quality. I brought a 17’ one from American eBay. Sadly, the neck of G4 was broken after such a long trip. I had no choice but buy an iMac in China with poor quality, just for the neck.

    The second problem is the screen. As you know, the resolution of 17’ iMac is only 1440*900, it’s really too old for today. The color of CFFL LCD is also not in good condition after such a long time.

    So, my first decision is to reproduce the screen part, not using the old one, and achieve more functions such as touch control.

    After that, I got my first concept of system framework:

    168767-a.jpg

    The shortcoming of this framework is the DC power brick need to put outside of G4, this will reduce the beauty of G4. After I study Wingworm’s work, I found using Thin-ITX motherboard can make it possible to put DC power inside or even use the original power supply of G4. So I got second concept of system framework:
    168768-02-option02.jpg

    The benefit of this framework is I don’t need display driver board for the LCD panel because Thin-ITX motherboard support LVDS signal output.

    Is that enough? Occasionally I find some new designed monitor integrated Android system inside for simple use such as listening music or watching movie. That’s what I want! I brought a Philips S221C3 monitor, which has Android system inside, only to take the display driver board for my mod. So I get the third concept of system framework and make it final one:
    168769-a.jpg


    2. Hardware selection

    After I got final concept, I brought all the hardware needed for my mod. This is hardware list of my mod, most of them are common. I’ll introduce some important ones.
    168762-a.jpg

    This is the connection of all hardware:
    168763-a.jpg


    (1) Display driver board

    The display driver board was taken form Philips S221C3. This monitor have 4 USB down link jacks and one USB up link jack. When using S221C3 as a monitor, all the hardware plugged to the USB down link ports can be used in computer (with a USB line connect the USB up link jack to computer). When using S221C3 as a big Android pad, all the hardware plugged to the USB down link ports can be used in Android system. This character makes Android system can share all hardware with PC system easily.

    This is the main-board of S221C3 (there are some traces of mod):
    168764-a.jpg
     
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  2. sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    Dec 24, 2015 at 7:48 PM #2
    sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    (2) LCD panel

    As mentioned above, I chose to reproduce the screen part, so select proper LCD panel would be very important. The iMac G4 I brought was 17-inch version, considering the ability of neck stand, the new LCD panel can’t be too big and heavy. I make a simple weighing and find original LCD of S221C3 is too heavy for the neck. Then I try to find suitable LCD panel for the neck. Using advanced search function of panelook.com, I find there is ONLY ONE LCD panel can fit my demand: Innolux M200HJK-L2B. This panel support 10 points capacitive touch control with USB interface.

    This is general features of M200HJK-L2B:
    07_M200HJK-L2B.JPG

    The specification detail of this panel:
    http://www.panelook.com/M200HJK-L2B_Innolux_19.5_LCM_parameter_25150.html

    Considering potential damage risk during mod, I brought 2 pieces of this panel. If everything goes well, I can use the redundant one to make a sub-monitor for G4.

    After I got 2 panels, using the official datasheet, I did some test and find it display well, but the touch function can’t use!!!

    According to the official datasheet, the pin1 of touch sensor connector (CNT3) is the one near the label of panel. After opening the touch sensor module, I guess the official datasheet was wrong because the USB circuit inside seems different from usual. I try to use the pin far from the label as pin1, and the touch sensor both work perfect.

    So please note, if you want to use this panel, the touch sensor pin assignment of official datasheet is WRONG, use the pin far from the label as pin1.

    This is the appearance of M200HJK-L2B panel:
    08_M200HJK01.jpg

    08_M200HJK02.jpg

    08_M200HJK03.jpg


    (3) Preliminary system stability test

    After get all hardware, I did preliminary test to validate the DC power supply and system stability. It’s really happy to see everything goes well:
    09_systemtest.jpg


    (4) Tools and materials used in my mod

    Right tool for the right job. I brought some new tools and materials for my mod. Here is the main tools and materials:
    10_toolsandmaterials.JPG


    3. Design of screen and inside installation

    (1) Design the screen for G4

    To make the appearance of reproduced screen looks familiar to original G4 screen, I designed the new screen using AutoCAD and SketchUp. As an architect, it’s an easy job. I will provide all the relevant documents of my mod if any one need for reference. This is the new screen design:
    11_Monitor01.jpg

    This is the exploded view of new G4 screen (easier to understand the inside structure):
    12_Monitor02.jpg

    In order to reduce the weight, the new screen didn’t use the original G4 screen structure. Through specially designed Aluminum alloy frame, it’s a simple way to support the LCD screen and shells with less weight. To fit the neck stand, I designed a transfer bracket.

    As mentioned above, I got 2 LCD panels so I can use the redundant one to make a sub-monitor for G4. This is the design of sub-monitor, which similar to G4 screen:
    13_SubMonitor01.jpg

    This is the exploded view of sub-monitor:
    14_SubMonitor02.jpg

    The Aluminum alloy frame of 2 screens is same, the only difference is screw holes. I found a small factory to customize all Aluminum alloy components and front/back shell.
    15_luminiumalloyframe.jpg

    19_aluminium alloy frame.jpg
    (Aluminum alloy frame for sub-monitor )

    16_frontpanel.jpg
    (front panel for sub-monitor )

    18_frontpaneldetail02.jpg
    (front panel detail 1 )

    17_frontpaneldetail01.jpg
    (front panel detail 2 )​


    (2) Design of mounting parts

    In order to install the hardware more firmly, I measured the entire inside space of G4 for designing mounting parts. I use paper model to confirm the feasibility of installation.

    21_mappinganddesign.jpg

    Because I used a normal CPU cooler, so the original power unit of G4 can’t use due to position conflict. I put 2 DC power brick inside for PC system and Android system. This design also makes easier to save energy and meet different usage such as only Android mode.

    This is the new structure of the base:

    22_BASE01.jpg

    This is exploded view of base:

    23_BASE02.jpg

    This is design of all Aluminum alloy mounting parts, some of them turns out not proper for installation so abandoned.

    24_mountingparts.JPG

    Continue next Post
     
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  3. sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    Dec 24, 2015 at 7:50 PM #3
    sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    4. Process of mod

    (1) Neck Stand MOD

    Keep some original lines and mod them for new usage:
    • - TMDS line mod to 2 USB lines for touch sensor and camera module;
    • - Backlight line mod to new LED backlight line

    Add new lines for new function:
    • - Add 30Pin LVDS line
    • - Add Apple Logo backlight line

    This is process of neck stand mod:
    25_neckstand.jpg

    (2) Make SHIELDED joints and motherboard mounting plate

    Some friend got EMC (Electro Magnetic Compatibility) problem in mod, such as noise in audio. Most of the EMC problem is because the shield is not well done. So in my work, I pay much attention on the shield. All the joints in my work are well shielded.

    26_jointsMOD.JPG

    PC motherboard and display driver board are very near, also need to consider EMC problem, so I use conductive copper foil tape and ABS plate to make a motherboard mounting plate.

    27_MBmountingplate.JPG


    (3) New I/O ports

    There are two systems inside my mod work, so all the back IO ports need to replace and fit new use. I used several extended lines to connect IO port to PC motherboard and display driver board. All the IO ports are well shielded. Here is the mod work:
    28_IOMOD.JPG


    (4) Apple Logo backlight

    The bright apple logo of MacBook is very beautiful. I try to simulate a bright apple logo instead of original metal logo on the back of G4 screen. This bright logo indicate the status of PC system.

    I used LED tape for backlight. The original connector of PC motherboard power LED can’t support LED tape because there are 8 LED lights on the tape. So I connect the LED tape to USB port 5V with suitable resistor about 50 ohms.
    29_applelogobacklight.jpg


    (5) MOD inside DC power

    There are two dc power bricks put inside G4 for two systems. Considering the CPU cooler, there is only one position suitable for 2 bricks as shown in picture.
    30_powerMOD.JPG


    (6) Chassis MOD

    Some screw columns need to remove because they affect the installation. I used angle grinding machine to remove useless part of the chassis.
    31_chassisMOD.JPG


    (7) Hard driver mounting

    The original position for air card and SO-DIMM memory is suitable for 2.5-inch 7mm slim hard drive, so I planned to put a laptop slim hard drive here with an aluminium alloy mounting plate. There's still a little spare room, so I decided to put a U disk there to extend the storage space of Android system.

    Taking into account that it’s nearly a closed space, I also designed a simple heat dissipation measures.

    32_HDMounting.JPG


    (8) Heat dissipation and dustproof

    Because of the narrow internal space and the main heat source location is only position, I used 2 fans inside to enhance heat dissipation capacity. The original chassis fan is inverted installation.

    Lucky thing is the position just to meet the requirements of air flow. The following is the heat dissipation of the whole interior space (contrary to the original G4):

    33_airpath.jpg

    As you know, G4 is a dust collector especially in dusty north China, so I designed dustproof mesh both top and bottom of base.
    34_dustproof.JPG


    (9) Monitor touch buttons MOD

    The original OSD control button of S221C3 is capacitive touch keys. At first I want to put it in new screen with extend lines. After explored inner space, I decided to make it more interesting by mod touch key to the back of optical driver door.
    35_touchMOD.JPG


    (10) Pro Speaker and internal speakers MOD

    The first problem of the Pro Speaker modify is amplifier. There is a 2*4W amplifier on the S221C3 main-board, seems not enough for Pro Speaker (2*7W).

    At the beginning, I would like to put in a new amplifier like Nickjf20 did, but that will bring more problems such as how to switch input between PC and Android system automatically. At last, I tested amplifier on the S221C3 main-board with the Pro Speaker and find both volume and quality was acceptable. So I decided to use the amplifier on the S221C3 main-board.

    Thanks to Nickjf20’s explanation of the connection of Pro Speaker knob, I did a little modify of the knob to make it easy to switch audio output between Pro Speaker and Internal Speakers.

    In order to understand my mod easier, I marked the pins of Pro Speaker plug and Mini-Jack with numbers and letters.

    The switch pin of Mini-Jack is pin D & E, both connect to pin 1 & 2 of Pro Speaker plug, which makes it difficult for switching output because they both connect to Left speaker. I did a little mod by exchange connection of pin 2 and 3 inside the knob.

    As Nickjf20 said, there is nothing to do with blocking audio from non-apple products about the ID chip. So I decided to shot cut pin 5 & 6 to create a “switch” for external amplifier. External amplifier power by SATA 12V from motherboard. The power port was shown in the back I/O picture which marked port 11.

    36_audiomod-01.jpg
    37_audiomod-02.jpg



    (11) Keyboard MOD

    The keyboard I got was A1048, which using USB 1.1 port. It’s really too slow for nowadays. So I decided to upgrade it to USB 2.0. I opened keyboard and found a small place maybe enough for mod. I bought two of the smallest USB Hub that I could find (one for redundant). This is the process of keyboard mod:
    38_keyboardmod.JPG


    (12) Final assemblage

    After finish all mod work, it’s time for final assemblage. It’s really need much patient because it’s too many hardware and lines inside:
    39_final_assemb.JPG



    5. System power consumption and heat dissipation ability test

    There are 2 power bricks in side. First check whether the power of the two power supply can meet different needs. Test results are two power supply meet all the requirements.
    40_powerconsumption.JPG

    Second, check the heat dissipation ability. I used AIDA64 to record and test:
    41_Stabilitytest_1.JPG
    42_Stabilitytest_2.JPG


    43_Stabilitytest_3.JPG

    The results show that the temperature of each hardware is well controlled.



    6. Operation Systems

    Hardware is the cornerstone, but software is the soul. I’m not very familiar with the Hackintosh system so I just install Windows 10 system for PC. Another reason is that Apple's Mac OS system is NOT good support for touch operation.


    (1) Touch control in Windows system

    Windows 10 system has good support for touch operation. Thanks to 10 points capacitive touch sensor of LCD panel, it’s really great experience of touch control in Windows 10
    44_wintouch.JPG


    (2) Operation in Android system

    Maybe the Android system was too old, it is very regrettable that the touch screen cannot be used in the Android 4.1 system due to USB driver problem. But Android system support keyboard and mouse control, so it’s ok to use Android system for music and video.
    45_androidsys01.JPG

    46_androidsys02_tony.JPG



    7. Final summary

    The iMac G4 is a legend. It took me about half a year to finish my iMac G4 mod work. Of course, there are still a lot of regrets and imperfections in my work, such as touch control in Android system and etc.

    I hope you like my mod work. If you have any questions, please contact with me via email. My email address is zhangkna (at) foxmail (dot) com.

    If you need AutoCAD and SketchUp files of my mod, you can send me email.

    Please feel free to share my work to your website or forums, just please send me the web address you shared so I can know more feedback and answer your questions.

    Thank you for watching and supporting. Wish you a merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
     
    kungpaogao and superslurt like this.
  4. Stork

    Stork Admin Staff Member

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    Dec 25, 2015 at 1:59 PM #4
    Stork

    Stork Admin Staff Member

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    sinoneptune, I had to break you single post up into two post as it was exceeding the post maximum line count. This should keep it from being moderated. If not, I'll break it into three parts. Let me know if I can help with your case mod posts.
     
  5. neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    Dec 25, 2015 at 2:55 PM #5
    neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    sinoneptune I enjoyed reading your post and studied your photos for the detail. This is a really great project and outstanding mod work.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Good modding,
    neil
     
  6. sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    Dec 26, 2015 at 3:34 PM #6
    sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    Dear administrator, my iMac G4 MOD post needs your help again

    Hello Stork, sorry for disturbing you during weekend.


    Thank you for break my post into two parts. I did a little change to first part of my post, and then the post disappeared just like before. I think it was exceeding the post maximum line count again.
    Would you please help me break my post again?


    In addition, I found that all the picture attachments are in the first part, do I need to re upload the picture for the rest two parts?


    Thank a lot!

    SinoNeptune
     
  7. sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    Dec 26, 2015 at 4:00 PM #7
    sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    Hello Neil, thank you very much for your reply, this is a very good forum.

    I see a lot of great mod works here. There is a group of MODers from China also have done a lot of interesting mod works. You can find some wonderful mod works here (all in Chinese, maybe you need to Google it):
    http://www.chiphell.com/forum.php?mod=forumdisplay&fid=290&filter=typeid&typeid=644

    chhintro.jpg

    This is a PowerMac G4 Cube mod by shuntong (all in Chinese, maybe you need Google it):
    http://www.chiphell.com/thread-1424930-1-1.html


    Look forward to sharing more MOD experience with friends here. Happy New Year to you all!


    SinoNeptune
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  8. sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    Dec 27, 2015 at 10:42 AM #8
    sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    Hello Stork, sorry for disturbing you again. :oops:

    I did a little change to second part of my post, and then the post disappeared just like before. I think it was exceeding the post maximum line count again. :banghead: I don't dare to do more for the third part. :confused:

    Would you please help me to break my post again? Maybe you can break second and third part into 5 or 6 parts.


    Thank a lot!

    SinoNeptune
     
  9. MacTester57

    MacTester57

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    Dec 27, 2015 at 8:19 PM #9
    MacTester57

    MacTester57

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    I'm speechless

    could you please post more pics of the internals? Looks like some of your picture links don't work.

    Keep up the good work! :thumbup:

    MacTester
     
  10. sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    Dec 28, 2015 at 3:55 AM #10
    sinoneptune

    sinoneptune

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    I'm very glad that you can join my post.;) I've sorted out all the pictures. If you can not see the picture, please see me uploaded to the gallery of photos.

    http://www.tonymacx86.com/members/sinoneptune/albums/brief-introduce-imac-g4-mod-sinoneptune/

    http://www.tonymacx86.com/members/s...4-mod-reproduced-touch-screen-android-system/

    SinoNeptune
     

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